CO2 as refrigerant tops talk

August 16, 2000
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
Herrick Laboratories at Purdue University.
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN — The big buzz at Purdue University this summer was over carbon dioxide as an hvacr refrigerant.

Ways to make CO2 viable comprised several papers presented at concurrent refrigeration, natural working fluids, and compressor conferences held here.

And attendees were given a tour of the university’s Herrick Laboratories, where several CO2 experiments were taking place.

Researchers reported making progress in perfecting automotive and portable air conditioning equipment that uses CO2. They noted a resurgence of interest because it is a natural refrigerant that does not have the global warming potential of artificially made HFCs. They also said they have seen favorable technological advances that include the manufacture of extremely thin yet strong aluminum tubing.

In the reports and in the lab were:

  • Creation of the first computer model that simulates the performance of carbon dioxide-based air conditioners;

  • The design of a portable, CO2-based air conditioner that works as well in conventional military applications, researchers said;

  • The development of a mathematical correlation, a tool that will enable engineers to determine how large a heat exchanger is needed to provide cooling for a given area; and

  • Development of a method to predict the effects of lubricating oils on the changing pressure inside CO2 air conditioners.

Researchers commented that, “Carbon dioxide is promising for systems that must be small and lightweight. Various factors, including the high operating pressure required for CO2 systems, enable refrigerant to flow through small-diameter tubing, which allows engineers to design more compact air conditioners.”

Researchers also argued that the naturally produced CO2 would not be subject to the recovery regulations governing CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs.

They further noted that HFCs have 1,400 times more global warming potential than CO2, and that CO2 can be garnered from non-hvacr processing.

According to Purdue’s Eckhard Groll, “It was actually very heavily used as a refrigerant in such spaces as theaters and restaurants in the early 20th century,” but at the time it required heavy steel tubing. “But now extremely thin, yet strong, aluminum tubing can be manufactured.”

At present, Groll noted that CO2 has no advantage in larger air conditioners, which can use wide-diameter tubes. But he said ammonia, another natural refrigerant, is being looked at in more commercial refrigeration applications.

Publication date: 08/21/2000

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by Peter Powell

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 ACI Home Performance Conference

The 2014 ACI National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show was held in Detroit.

Podcasts

NEWSMakers: Michael Willburn

Michael Willburn, president, Infloor Heating Systems, joins the program to discuss his company, radiant heating, industry trends, and whether contractors are becoming more interested in radiant heating. Posted on July 11.

More Podcasts

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 07-21-14 cover

2014 July 21

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

R-22 PHASEOUT POLL

Some in the industry are calling for the EPA to halt production of R-22 as of 2015. What do you think?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con